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TYJ The Number System of Ancient Japanese

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This article is in the series Teach Yourself Japanese
The number system of ancient Japanese is not used now except 1 through 10, which are sometimes used as alternate vocabulary. The modern Japanese language uses a different number system imported from Chinese. The "Modern" column below means the modern pronunciation of ancient Japanese numbers.

NumberAncient ReadingModern ReadingMeaning
0??-
1pitotuhitotsu1 obj.
2putatufutatsu2 obj.
3mitumittsu3 obj.
4yotuyottsu4 obj.
5itutuitsutsu5 obj.
6mutumuttsu6 obj.
7nanatunanatsu7 obj.
8yatuyattsu8 obj.
9kokonotukokonotsu9 obj.
10towo10
11towo amari pitotutō amari hitotsu10 and 1 obj.
12towo amari putatutō amari futatsu10 and 2 obj.
13towo amari mitutō amari mittsu10 and 3 obj.
14towo amari yotutō amari yottsu10 and 4 obj.
15towo amari itututō amari itsutsu10 and 5 obj.
16towo amari mututō amari muttsu10 and 6 obj.
17towo amari nanatutō amari nanatsu10 and 7 obj.
18towo amari yatutō amari yattsu10 and 8 obj.
19towo amari kokonotutō amari kokonotsu10 and 9 obj.
20patatihatachi20 obj.*
21patati amari pitotuhatachi amari hitotsu20 obj.* and 1 obj.
22patati amari putatuhatachi amari futatsu20 obj.* and 2 obj.
23patati amari mituhatachi amari mittsu20 obj.* and 3 obj.
24patati amari yotuhatachi amari yottsu20 obj.* and 4 obj.
25patati amari itutuhatachi amari itsutsu20 obj.* and 5 obj.
26patati amari mutuhatachi amari muttsu20 obj.* and 6 obj.
27patati amari nanatuhatachi amari nanatsu20 obj.* and 7 obj.
28patati amari yatuhatachi amari yattsu20 obj.* and 8 obj.
29patati amari kokonotuhatachi amari kokonotsu20 obj.* and 9 obj.
30misodimisoji3 × 10 obj.*
31misodi amari pitotumisoji amari hitotsu3 × 10 obj.* and 1 obj.
32misodi amari putatumisoji amari futatsu3 × 10 obj.* and 2 obj.
33misodi amari mitumisoji amari mittsu3 × 10 obj.* and 3 obj.
34misodi amari yotumisoji amari yottsu3 × 10 obj.* and 4 obj.
35misodi amari itutumisoji amari itsutsu3 × 10 obj.* and 5 obj.
36misodi amari mutumisoji amari muttsu3 × 10 obj.* and 6 obj.
37misodi amari nanatumisoji amari nanatsu3 × 10 obj.* and 7 obj.
38misodi amari yatumisoji amari yattsu3 × 10 obj.* and 8 obj.
39misodi amari kokonotumisoji amari kokonotsu3 × 10 obj.* and 9 obj.
40yosodiyosoji4 × 10 obj.*
41yosodi amari pitotuyosoji amari hitotsu4 × 10 obj.* and 1 obj.
42yosodi amari putatuyosoji amari futatsu4 × 10 obj.* and 2 obj.
43yosodi amari mituyosoji amari mittsu4 × 10 obj.* and 3 obj.
44yosodi amari yotuyosoji amari yottsu4 × 10 obj.* and 4 obj.
45yosodi amari itutuyosoji amari itsutsu4 × 10 obj.* and 5 obj.
46yosodi amari mutuyosoji amari muttsu4 × 10 obj.* and 6 obj.
47yosodi amari nanatuyosoji amari nanatsu4 × 10 obj.* and 7 obj.
48yosodi amari yatuyosoji amari yattsu4 × 10 obj.* and 8 obj.
49yosodi amari kokonotuyosoji amari kokonotsu4 × 10 obj.* and 9 obj.
50isodiisoji5* × 10 obj.*
51isodi amari pitotuisoji amari hitotsu5* × 10 obj.* and 1 obj.
52isodi amari putatuisoji amari futatsu5* × 10 obj.* and 2 obj.
53isodi amari mituisoji amari mittsu5* × 10 obj.* and 3 obj.
54isodi amari yotuisoji amari yottsu5* × 10 obj.* and 4 obj.
55isodi amari itutuisoji amari itsutsu5* × 10 obj.* and 5 obj.
56isodi amari mutuisoji amari muttsu5* × 10 obj.* and 6 obj.
57isodi amari nanatuisoji amari nanatsu5* × 10 obj.* and 7 obj.
58isodi amari yatuisoji amari yattsu5* × 10 obj.* and 8 obj.
59isodi amari kokonotuisoji amari kokonotsu5* × 10 obj.* and 9 obj.
60musodimusoji6 × 10 obj.*
61musodi amari pitotumusoji amari hitotsu6 × 10 obj.* and 1 obj.
62musodi amari putatumusoji amari futatsu6 × 10 obj.* and 2 obj.
63musodi amari mitumusoji amari mittsu6 × 10 obj.* and 3 obj.
64musodi amari yotumusoji amari yottsu6 × 10 obj.* and 4 obj.
65musodi amari itutumusoji amari itsutsu6 × 10 obj.* and 5 obj.
66musodi amari mutumusoji amari muttsu6 × 10 obj.* and 6 obj.
67musodi amari nanatumusoji amari nanatsu6 × 10 obj.* and 7 obj.
68musodi amari yatumusoji amari yattsu6 × 10 obj.* and 8 obj.
69musodi amari kokonotumusoji amari kokonotsu6 × 10 obj.* and 9 obj.
70nanasodinanasoji7 × 10 obj.*
71nanasodi amari pitotunanasoji amari hitotsu7 × 10 obj.* and 1 obj.
72nanasodi amari putatunanasoji amari futatsu7 × 10 obj.* and 2 obj.
73nanasodi amari mitunanasoji amari mittsu7 × 10 obj.* and 3 obj.
74nanasodi amari yotunanasoji amari yottsu7 × 10 obj.* and 4 obj.
75nanasodi amari itutunanasoji amari itsutsu7 × 10 obj.* and 5 obj.
76nanasodi amari mutunanasoji amari muttsu7 × 10 obj.* and 6 obj.
77nanasodi amari nanatunanasoji amari nanatsu7 × 10 obj.* and 7 obj.
78nanasodi amari yatunanasoji amari yattsu7 × 10 obj.* and 8 obj.
79nanasodi amari kokonotunanasoji amari kokonotsu7 × 10 obj.* and 9 obj.
80yasodiyasoji8 × 10 obj.*
81yasodi amari pitotuyasoji amari hitotsu8 × 10 obj.* and 1 obj.
82yasodi amari putatuyasoji amari futatsu8 × 10 obj.* and 2 obj.
83yasodi amari mituyasoji amari mittsu8 × 10 obj.* and 3 obj.
84yasodi amari yotuyasoji amari yottsu8 × 10 obj.* and 4 obj.
85yasodi amari itutuyasoji amari itsutsu8 × 10 obj.* and 5 obj.
86yasodi amari mutuyasoji amari muttsu8 × 10 obj.* and 6 obj.
87yasodi amari nanatuyasoji amari nanatsu8 × 10 obj.* and 7 obj.
88yasodi amari yatuyasoji amari yattsu8 × 10 obj.* and 8 obj.
89yasodi amari kokonotuyasoji amari kokonotsu8 × 10 obj.* and 9 obj.
90kokonosodikokonosoji9 × 10 obj.*
91kokonosodi amari pitotukokonosoji amari hitotsu9 × 10 obj.* and 1 obj.
92kokonosodi amari putatukokonosoji amari futatsu9 × 10 obj.* and 2 obj.
93kokonosodi amari mitukokonosoji amari mittsu9 × 10 obj.* and 3 obj.
94kokonosodi amari yotukokonosoji amari yottsu9 × 10 obj.* and 4 obj.
95kokonosodi amari itutukokonosoji amari itsutsu9 × 10 obj.* and 5 obj.
96kokonosodi amari mutukokonosoji amari muttsu9 × 10 obj.* and 6 obj.
97kokonosodi amari nanatukokonosoji amari nanatsu9 × 10 obj.* and 7 obj.
98kokonosodi amari yatukokonosoji amari yattsu9 × 10 obj.* and 8 obj.
99kokonosodi amari kokonotukokonosoji amari kokonotsu9 × 10 obj.* and 9 obj.
100momomomo100

* Different form
† Different word

Note:
The suffixes "tu", "ti", and "di" (modern "tsu", "chi", and "ji") were used to count general objects. This is similar to the number system of the Ainu.

NumberAncient RootModern RootObjects (-tu, ancient)Objects (-tsu, modern)People (-tari, ancient)People (-tori, modern)Days (-uka, ancient)Days (-oka, modern)
1pitohitopitotuhitotsupitorihitoripitopihitohi
2putafutaputatufutatsuputarifutariputukafutsuka
3mimimitumittsumitarimittarimikamikka
4yoyoyotuyottsuyotariyottariyokayokka
5ituitsuitutuitsutsuitutariitsutariitukaitsuka
6mumumutumuttsumutarimutarimuyukamuika
7nanananananatunanatsunanatarinanatarinanukananoka
8yayayatuyattsuyatariyatariyaukayōka
9kokonokokonokokonotukokonotsukokonotarikokonotarikokonukakokonoka
10tototowototaritotaritowokatōka
20patahatapatatihatachipatatarihatataripatukahatsuka
30misomisomisodimisojimisotarimisotarimisokamisoka

32 objects = misodi amari putatu
32 days = misoka amari putuka
32 years = misotose amari putatose

The conjunction "amari" sometimes became "mari".
ex.
32 = misodi amari putatu = misodimari putatu

Larger numbers:

NumberAncient ReadingModern ReadingMeaning
100momomomo100
200putapofutao2 × 100
300mipomio3 × 100
400yopoyoo4 × 100
500ipoio5* × 100
600mupomuo6 × 100
700nanaponanao7 × 100
800yapoyao8 × 100
900kokonopokokonoo9 × 100
1000tichi1000
2000putatifutachi2 × 1000
3000mitimichi3 × 1000
4000yotiyochi4 × 1000
5000itiichi5* × 1000
6000mutimuchi6 × 1000
7000nanatinanachi7 × 1000
8000yatiyachi8 × 1000
9000kokonotikokonochi9 × 1000
10000yoroduyorozu10000
20000putayorodufutayorozu2 × 10000
30000miyorodumiyorozu3 × 10000
40000yoyoroduyoyorozu4 × 10000
50000iyoroduiyorozu5* × 10000
60000muyorodumuyorozu6 × 10000
70000nanayorodunanayorozu7 × 10000
80000yayoroduyayorozu8 × 10000
90000kokonoyorodukokonoyorozu9 × 10000
About author
Takasugi
My name is TAKASUGI Shinji. TAKASUGI is my family name, and Shinji is my given name; a family name is placed before a given name in Japan, as in other Asian nations. My family name is capitalized to avoid misunderstanding.

I have been living in Yokohama since I was born. Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, which is just 30 kilometers away from the biggest city Tôkyô. It takes 30 minutes to go by train from home to Shibuya, which is the hottest town now in Tôkyô.

I work as a display engineer.

One of my hobbies is creating things with computers; creating programs, computer graphics and web pages is the thing I spent a lot of time doing. I am also interested in a wide range of sciences, and linguistics is my favorite. I like English and I like using it, but my focus is mainly on Japanese, which is my native language. I'm proud of knowing the language, and the difference between English and Japanese has been fascinating me. I have been thinking whether I can introduce it to people outside of Japan. My attempt of introducing Japanese with some Java applets has had more than 1 million visitors.

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